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Deer Creek - Shake Ridge & Shake Tree Cyn Loop, AZ
mini location map2022-04-02
15 by photographer avatarjoebartels
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Deer Creek - Shake Ridge & Shake Tree Cyn Loop, AZ 
Deer Creek - Shake Ridge & Shake Tree Cyn Loop, AZ
Hiking11.29 Miles 2,195 AEG
Hiking11.29 Miles   8 Hrs   27 Mns   1.62 mph
2,195 ft AEG   1 Hour   30 Mns Break
1st trip
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Bruce put a couple of hikes on the table. The second option got my attention as... has he lost his mind. Then it dawned on me that I'd been wishing for a stupid-cool hike for years now, just shut up and see if he'll actually do it. Apparently, he was ready to hike.

Without saying a word, I added a shortcut option to his seemingly impossible route but was excited to give it a try.

From the trailhead, we hiked Deer Creek Trail #45 to Dear Creek. It was running enough that it took me 5 minutes to find a safe crossing. On the flip side, we immediately ascended a ridge that delivered us to FR 415. Game trails crisscrossing the steep ridge helped the ascent to FR 415. Shockingly passed a newly signed Jct to two horizontal water tanks. When FR 415 ends, it continues as a good trail on Shake Ridge. It merges into an ATV trail and then continues as an excellent hunter trail through pinions.

The Forest roads out here never caught my attention before but seem like an option to attack Mazzie Peak from Deer Creek TH. Substantial wildflowers for a few stretches.

Almost to our 5 mi break, Bruce jumped on a prickly pear. I was cool with leaving him there for dead. Instead, we took turns getting hundreds of needles out.

From Shake Ridge down to Shake Tree Canyon is a mixture of brush crunching/whacking and careful foot placement. After I got catclaw hooked on my lip, there was a nice section of trail. Game trail, hunter trail, grow site trail, who knows. Almost down, I got speared by an agave, a good 3/4 inch deep but didn't bleed bad. Must have missed the veins as I experienced lawn sprinkler bleeding in Boynton decades ago.

Gordie got down to the creek covered in leeches and surrounded by bears. Fighting an ounce of common sense, he decides we are going up canyon 500 ft to see the geology. Bruce returned to planet Earth about 2 minutes after attempting up.

For one mile down Shake Tree Canyon, we gingerly scooted across piles of debris, crawled over dead trees, gambled on the sides of the canyon off and on, oh and admired a variety of butterflies!

Just as the BS let up, we took a longer-than-average lunch. By this time of day, it was etched in stone we would not even attempt my shortcut, but rather a serious abbreviated version of the planned college-energy route.

After a short joiner stretch through the lowest portion of Bars Canyon, we were back on Deer Creek Trail. Good old-fashioned trail hiking back to the trailhead never felt so good.

Albeit rough, it was a great hike. Definitely a future hike in there too, but I think we can both agree it needs to be a lot cooler outside to wear the necessary pants to negotiate the terrain.
 Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ]  HAZ - Hike HAZard
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Moderate
Poppies, blue richards, desert chicory, sego lily, lupine, desert globemallow, daisies, desert anemone, etc

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Bars Canyon Light flow Light flow
Good clear flow in the lowest segment before Deer Creek

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Shake Tree Canyon Medium flow Medium flow
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout Flowing nice and clear in the upper end of the canyon. Intermittent flow through the mid to lower canyon.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max South Fork Deer Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Strong, clear, medium flow.
- joe
HAZ Member
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